Modern Girls Should Still Practice Hospitality

Monday, March 20, 2017

Hey, y'all! Today, I'm over at the Girl Defined blog talking about hospitality. Click here to see my thoughts and a quick interview with my grandmother. I hope to see you there! 

For Love and Honor Book Review

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Let's all ignore the fact that the castle on my graphic actually isn't in Great Britain. xD
Who doesn't love a good sigh worthy novel every once in awhile? For Love and Honor by Jody Hedlund proved to be that and much, much more. 
My Rating: Five Strands of Blue Pearls
Back Cover Blurb (Taken From Amazon)
Lady Sabine is harboring a skin blemish, one, that if revealed, could cause her to be branded as a witch, put her life in danger, and damage her chances of making a good marriage. After all, what nobleman would want to marry a woman so flawed?
Sir Bennet is returning home to protect his family from an imminent attack by neighboring lords who seek repayment of debts. Without fortune or means to pay those debts, Sir Bennet realizes his only option is to make a marriage match with a wealthy noblewoman. As a man of honor, he loathes the idea of courting a woman for her money, but with time running out for his family’s safety, what other choice does he have?
As Lady Sabine and Sir Bennet are thrust together under dangerous circumstances, will they both be able to learn to trust each other enough to share their deepest secrets? Or will those secrets ultimately lead to their demise?

What I Liked
The characters. Guys, THE CHARACTERS!!! *sighs* Bennet and Sabine captivated me from the moment they stepped onto the pages of the book. Sabine is one of the most relatable characters I’ve read about, and Bennet… He is every bit of the chivalrous and noble knight that one dreams up the word fairytale comes to mind.
Bennet and Sabine’s relationship. I could NOT stop sighing as I read about Sabine and Bennet’s interactions. The two of them together… *sighs again*
The plot. I. Could. Not. Put. This. Book. Down. At. All. I literally finished in four days, and I would’ve finished it sooner if I wasn’t engrossed in researching for my next writing project… Or reading Jane Eyre.
The message. I think it's one everyone needs to hear, especially in today's culture. That we are loved unconditionally. That we are beautiful and unique. 
The cover. Just look at it. Look at it and flail. *flails with you* 
What I Disliked
I can’t think of anything I disliked about this book. I’m serious. If anything, I disliked that it was too short. xD 
I would recommend For Love and Honor to every bookworm in the world. It's that good. I will forever have this book on my bookshelf, along with An Uncertain Choice and A Daring Sacrifice
About The Author
Jody Hedlund is a best-selling and award-winning author who loves fairy-tales and happily-ever-afters. She makes her home in Midland, MI with her husband and five teen-aged children. When she’s not writing another of her page-turning stories, you can usually find her sipping coffee, eating chocolate, and reading. 

Have you read For Love And Honor (or any other of Jody's books)? What’s your favorite fairytale? Is that cover not gorgeous? What makes a book sigh worthy for you? 

Remembering Stories

Sunday, March 12, 2017

I’ll never forget March 2015. After turning thirteen, one of the first things I got to do was fly with my dad and members of our community to Uganda to serve with  Sixty Feet, a ministry that works with children in Uganda's child prisons or "remand homes," for a week. One week. That’s all it took to turn my world upside down.
In Uganda, I met a lot of different people with lots of different stories. Stories that coaxed tears from eyes. Stories that made me want to hold those who had those stories close and never let anything hurt them again…
There was Daniel’s story.
He and his little sister went biking one day in the big city of Kampala. Nothing bad was supposed to happen… But then he got lost. He tried to find his way home, but to no avail. Soon, the police found him and took him to a remand home.
Daniel was never reunited with his family before he passed away because of HIV.
Getting my hair braided by some of the girls at a pastor's house. 
There was Annie’s story.
I didn’t know all of her story, but I saw her joy. I saw her radiant smile. I saw her curiosity and what I could call a tendency for mischief blossoming. In the midst of the ugly… She was a spark of joy.
There was Eli’s story.
His Hard Rock Café t-shirt hung loosely on his gaunt frame, but I can recall seeing more than a physical hunger. He had wishes and dreams-one of which included going to America and meeting the famed American President. I got to teach him tic-tac-toe and chat with him for awhile.
A little boy in one of the prisons wearing lots of stickers. =)
I could tell multitudes of these stories. I could tell you about a little boy whose cries moved me to tears and about a young mother on the streets who begged for a single drink of water. I could tell you about a group of little girls who found joy in simply stroking my hair and a two-year old boy who stuck stickers all over his sweet face.
So many stories. So little space.  
Today, those stories still impact me. Because of those stories and that trip, a little boy named Matthias is playing with his trains as I type this. Because of those stories, God has challenged me to see the world through his eyes and not my own. Because of these stories, I have a deeper desire to be the hands and feet of Christ no matter where I am. 
Two members of my team and I taking a picture with kids in one of the prisons. 
I hope these stories will change your life like they did mine and that you will join me in praying for the imprisoned children of Uganda.  
If you’d like to learn more about Sixty Feet and their mission, plus more ways to help, click here. Do you want to help children like Eli, Annie, Carrie, and Daniel? To make a donation, click here. If you have any questions, let me know in the comments, and I'll do my best to answer them. =) 

What are some stories that have impacted you? Have you been on a missions trip before? If so, what did you learn? If you haven't, where is a place you'd like to serve? 

February Just Happened

Saturday, March 4, 2017

February just happened. And now it’s MARCH (and I am now somehow fifteen?!?!). Let’s get nostalgic and take a quick look at February, shall we?

  • More snow!!! Which means salted caramel hot chocolate, snowmen, wet gloves, and snowball fights. And then it melted… 
  • The Super Bowl. THE SUPER BOWL. Every year, my family makes a ton of junk food and we watch the game. This year’s game… It was one of the most epic comebacks I’ve watched, besides the 2016 World Series, that is. And speaking of….
  • I have been attempting to teach myself photography.... And so far have deleted every picture I've taken. Don't worry, I WILL SUCCEED. Somehow...
  • My Bible Study leader is out of town, and I got to lead our study for one week. *cue gasps* I actually didn’t do too bad. I think.
  • I somehow have... 28 followers?! *hugs you guys* Y'all are the best!

So… Editing on Runaway has come to a standstill. Why? Well, there’s this new story that has captured my attention, with components of both Runaway AND A Sleep So Deep. I can’t (or won’t) turn away from this story, so I may be pursuing it and setting Runaway and A Sleep So Deep aside. I’m still prayerfully considering making this drastic move and am figuring out the mechanics of this new story.

Let’s just say I know I can’t do the whole read 100 books challenge... *hides face* But I have read some great books this month.

The Language of Sparrows by Rachel Phifer

This book… OH MY GOODNESS ALL THE FEELS!!! This is one of the sweetest, most heart wrenching stories I have laid eyes on. GO READ IT NOW.

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

*sighs happily* Jane Austen, you’ve done it again. I started out not liking this novel a lot, and by the end I was screaming about how much I loved it. Don’t just watch the movie (although it's great too), read the book.

Girl Defined by Bethany Baird and Kristen Clark

*doesn’t mention that I’m still reading this one* If I had to describe this book with one word, the word would be RADICAL. This book on Biblical womanhood is totally contrary to what our culture says, not to mention a must read for every woman of any age. I plan on (hopefully) reviewing it pretty soon, so stay tuned.

The Choosing by Rachelle Dekker

Honestly, I was really looking forward to this book. I had pre-ordered the entire series. It’s not bad, it’s just… Not everything I was expecting it to be. It was still a good read, though.

How was YOUR February? Tell me one thing about it! Did you get any snow? Watch the Super Bowl? Flail about spring training? CAN YOU GET “HOW FAR I’LL GO” OUT OF YOUR HEAD?!?! Let’s grab some cocoa and chat! 

Monday's Minute Challenge

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Recently, I entered Tessa Emily Hall's Monday's Minute Challenge writing prompt contest and received a first place award. =) You can read my entry below:

I squint against the piercing gusts of wind that whip my cloak around my near-frozen body. Footprints, barely legible in the packed snow and speckled with particles of dirt, lead north.

Of all the places, north.

Gritting my teeth and battling the uneasy feeling inside, I trudge onward. Frost glints in the spare sunlight, snow sparkles in an eerie way. But these are all normal sights for me since the beginning of the Winter.

I maneuver around a patch of ice, keeping an eye ahead of me, and yet glancing behind every minute or so. I have done well enough hiding my tracks, but if the beasts were sent after me…

I shake such thoughts from my head and come across an open meadow. Not the safest place for me, but I gasp. There he is.

“Henrik!” I hurry to the crumpled figure. No response. “Henrik!”

When I’m steps away from the fur coat-covered body, he bolts up, remaining on his knees. Surprised, I fall backwards. I don’t even try to get up when I see the blood-dipped knife in Henrik’s hand, the crazed look in his eyes.

They don’t hold the joy or mirth I knew.

“I never really loved her.” He cradles the knife closer to him. A drop of scarlet spreads on the snow.

Alarmed, I search him for any wounds from my vantage point. None. Then where… There is no body. No sign of a fight, nothing.

“Who?” I breathe, watching a cloud form in front of my face.

“She made me. I didn’t want to, but she made me. The light… But I never really loved her anyway.”

Another drop of blood. But it isn’t coming from the knife.

“Who didn’t you love? Who made you?”

Henrik looks up. “Her.”

*shivers* That is... The most morbid thing I've ever written. 

If you'd like to enter the next Monday's Minute Challenge contest, click here. I'd love to read your entry, so let me know if you do participate in the comments! And I should be posting again tomorrow, so stay tuned.  =) 

Have you ever participated in Monday's Minute Challenge? What genre do you like to write (or read) in? Will you be participating in the next writing prompt contest? Let's talk!

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